Patients and Visitors go to

Web Policies

Access Content Links
Accessibility Copyright Patient Privacy
Appropriate Use Domain names Privileges/Responsibilities
Authority Homepages Social Media
Architecture Hosting Updates
Commercial Vendors Interactive

All, and sites exist to deliver information about medical services at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to the public. All and sites exist to deliver information about VUMC to academic peers, medical professionals and internal departments. 

Contact if you have questions or comments about VUMC Web Standards or need help securing Web development resources.

Access: All public-facing websites should be in the official content management system. Overriding pages with custom code is not permitted. Training and support for official content management systems is free and is arranged through VUMC Web.

Accessibility: To be accessible, all VUMC Web sites must abide by WCAG standards.

Appropriate Use: The content of all Web pages placed on any VUMC-owned or -managed server or delivered over the VUMC network must comply with all VUMC policies and procedures, as well as local, state and federal laws. Information providers and their sponsors are responsible for ensuring that Web pages are consistent with Vanderbilt standards and conform to existing computer-usage policies. VUMC public-facing websites are not meant for publishing, storing or collecting any sensitive information.

Authority: VUMC Web reserves the right to remove, edit or replace any content that does not conform to VUMC standards. All VUMC Web sites must be pre-approved by the director of Web Services. This includes sites hosted on the VUMC server. All sites must comply with the standards listed on this page.

Architecture: Use simple and intuitive layouts. If a site becomes too large and unwieldy, feel free to call on us for help.

Commercial Vendors: Commercial vendors are limited to custom database programming and tool creation. The SiteBuilder and Barista tools are used to create and maintain all VUMC Web sites. Some exceptions are made for grant-funded or multi-institutional sites without overt VUMC branding.

Content: Copy on, and sites should be written at an 8th grade level or lower according to best practices for health literacy. All content for these sites should be created for a lay-audience — people who are not medical professionals nor necessarily familiar with Vanderbilt.

Information about academic programs, professional events, internal communications and other matters for medical professionals, with the exception of referring providers, should appear on or sites. Any content for patients and/or referring physicians should only appear on and

All content must be original, not copied from another source. Placeholder content (coming soon, save the date, etc.) should not be used.

Do not store, transmit, upload, post or collect PHI or PII on public-facing websites.

Any page that offers health information must include this disclaimer: This site is not a source of medical advice. The information provided on this site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your existing physician or healthcare provider.

Copyright: Vanderbilt computing resources should be used in a manner that is protective of the use privileges and property rights of others. Users must therefore:
• Abide by all local, state and federal laws, including copyright laws.
• Abide by all applicable software license agreements.
• Use only the accounts, access codes or network identification numbers assigned to them.
• Access only those files or data that they are authorized to use.

If you have questions about copyright contact the VUMC general counsel's office.

Domain Names/urls: VUMC IT buys and registers all domain names (urls) for all VUMC departments, divisions, programs and labs. URLs for patient-focused sites (e.g.,, etc) are purchased through VUMC web development, contact your marketing lead for more information.

You are charged only what the registry service charges; there is no extra fee. All domain names must be registered through VUMC IT to make sure we have accurate records.

Do not purchase a domain name for a website doing official business for VUMC using your personal information and credit card

Click here for VUMC IT domain name policy and procedure.

eCommerce: There should not be any eCommerce on SiteBuilder or Drupal sites.

Changing URLs: If a URL is to be changed, please follow these steps:
1. Put up a temporary redirect script sending the visitor to the new site (VUMC IT can help wtih this, start by using a Pegasus ticket).
2. Contact VUMC IT to share the new URL.
3. After a reasonable amount of time, take down the old site and disable the redirect script.

Homepages: VUMC Web will maintain all sites. We maintain some and pages, although most are managed by their respective departments. Content for homepages is provided by the department/clinic. 

Also include a link back to your department's homepage on each screen of your website. This is important because people can enter your website without first going to your homepage.

The department name should be in the title of your page. this will help search engines find your site. A date when the site was last updated will automatically appear at the bottom of the homepage. Every department should update or refresh the content of its site at least once a month.

Hosting: All sites in the Sitebuilder content management system are hosted free of charge with the support of VUMC IT. For other hosting needs, contact VUMC IT.

Interactive: Videos, podcasts and animations enrich our sites and are encouraged. Feel free to use quality content produced by Vanderbilt or, when appropriate, outside sources (all copyright laws apply). Best file format for videos is MP4.

Patient Privacy: Identifiable patient health information (PHI and PII) should not be stored, transmitted, uploaded, posted or collected on any VUMC public-facing website. 

Social Media: See the VUMC Social Media Policy for details on these resources.

Updates: Update content at least monthly. Content that refers to events in the past or outdated information should be removed. Each department is encouraged to create and follow a schedule for reviewing the site quarterly to be sure content is current.